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Menu Certification Performance-Based Reimbursement


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Action Required, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-SNP-35-2012
Attention: Food Service Directors Date: August 2012
Subject: Menu Certification for Performance-Based Reimbursement
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Policy Memo SP 34–2012: Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Certification of Compliance with New Meal Patterns—Certification Tools, Specifications, and Prototype Attestation Statement; USDA Policy Memo 31-2012: Certification of Compliance with Meal Requirements for the National School Lunch Program under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (2nd Revision); Management Bulletin USDA-SNP-29-2012

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides guidance for applying for certification of compliance with the New Meal Patterns (NMP) as required under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Policy Memo SP 34-2012: Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010: Certification of Compliance with New Meal Patterns—Certification Tools, Specifications, and Prototypes Attestation Statement. This memo provides materials for use in the certification process set forth in the interim rule, and is available on the USDA School Meals Policy Memo Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/policy.htm.

Background

As described in MB USDA-SNP-29-2012, Section 201 of the HHFKA requires state agencies (SA) to certify and reimburse School Food Authorities (SFA) in compliance with the NMP with an additional six cents per lunch starting October 1, 2012. The MB contained a link to the USDA Policy Memo SP 31-2012, which provides answers to questions related to certification of compliance and the new performance-based reimbursement. The USDA updated this policy memo with additional questions and answers on July 16, 2012, and it is available on the USDA School Meals Policy Memos Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/policy.htm.

Overview

Through the certification process, SFAs must demonstrate compliance with the nutritional standards currently in effect for both lunches and breakfasts served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). Federal funding for the six cent performance-based reimbursement becomes available to SFAs beginning October 1, 2012. SFAs are responsible to ensure all sites within the SFA are compliant with the NMP. SFAs must submit certification documentation reflective of the meal pattern requirements in effect at the time they apply for certification.

Please note that the USDA released Policy Memo SP 38-2012 for Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCI) on July 16, 2012, which allows SAs to grant waivers to RCCIs with regard to the NMP requirements. This memo is available on the USDA FNS School Meals Policy Memos Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/policy.htm. The MB addressing Policy Memo SP 38-2012 will be forthcoming.

The chart below provides a timeline for submission of SFA certification packets to the SA.

Month of Submitted Packet Month of Menu Service Start Date for Six Cent Reimbursement
July 2012 *October/November 2012 Reimbursement is retroactive to the first day of the month of the certified menu after menus have been approved by the CDE through the certification process.
August 2012 *October/November 2012
September 2012 *October/November 2012
October 2012 October 2012
November 2012 November 2012 or month prior
December 2012 December 2012 or month prior
January 2013 January 2013 or month prior
February 2013 February 2013 or month prior
March 2013 March 2013 or month prior

* October/November menus submitted July/September are the only menus which may represent planned meal service.

Certification Submission Procedures

The California Department of Education (CDE) is requesting SFAs submit certification documents electronically by USB flash drive or compact disc (CD) as well as specified hardcopy documents. There are two options available for submitting the required documents. Select the option that applies to your agency.

While the USDA is providing authority to SAs to certify SFA menus during an administrative review, please note the USDA has also provided SAs the authority to determine when they will utilize this option. At this time, the CDE is implementing only Options One and Two.
Packet Assembly

Assemble a complete packet of the required certification documents for the options explained above on a USB flash drive or CD using the exact formatting in the examples provided in the procedures. Please write the CNIPS identification number and the SFA name on the USB flash drive or CD.

Mail the USB flash drive or CD and additional required documents to:

ENPU Certification Unit
Nutrition Services Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 4503
Sacramento, CA 95814

Certification Processing and Validation Reviews 

The CDE will determine certification within 60 days of receipt of a complete packet. If the packet is incomplete, the CDE will contact the SFA by e-mail to request the missing information. The SFA must respond within 10 days or the CDE will return the entire packet to the SFA. Upon certification, the CDE must reimburse the certified SFA with the six cent performance-based reimbursement for each lunch served beginning the first day of the month of the certified menu. If the CDE denies certification, the SFA may reapply at any time.

Please note that the CDE is conducting on-site validation reviews during School Year (SY) 2012–13 for 25 percent of the certified SFAs. The validation review is to confirm that the SFAs are compliant with the current NSLP and SBP meal pattern requirements. The Nutrition Services Division will select SFAs randomly for validation reviews; however, the USDA requires all SFAs with an enrollment of 40,000 or more to receive a validation review in SY 2012–13. Validation reviews may result in corrective and/or fiscal action if the SFA is found out of compliance with the NMP lunch requirements. The degree of fiscal action is dependent upon the longevity and severity of the problem discovered. To diminish the need for recovery of improperly paid federal funds and ensure their proper stewardship, the CDE will make every effort to conduct the required validation reviews within the 60 day timeframe for certification.
Training

The CDE will provide training on the certification process starting this month and continuing through December 2012. Training will continue in 2013 and expand to include requirements effective July 1, 2013. These trainings will include certification workshops, technical assistance sessions, Webinars, and Microsoft Live Meetings. Watch for New Meal Pattern Priorities (NewMAPP) e-mails announcing upcoming trainings. To sign up for School Nutrition Program (SNP) information e-mails, SFAs can register on the CDE SNP Mailing List Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/snpmail.asp. For additional information regarding the certification process, visit the USDA FNS Nutrition Standards for School Meals Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/nutritionstandards.htm.

For questions concerning the menu certification process, SFAs may contact the Education and Nutrition Policy Unit, Certification Unit, by e-mail at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov. To be contacted by phone, please e-mail your contact information to HHFKA@cde.ca.gov and a certification team member will return your call within one business day.

Attachments


Attachment 1

CERTIFICATION SUBMISSION PROCEDURES
Option One

This option is for School Food Authorities (SFA) that currently use nutrient analysis software approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or you may use Option Two if you prefer. There are six required documents for this option. The SFAs will find the requested forms in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS) under Applications, Download Forms for items one, three, five and six listed below.

  1. Menu Certification Submittal

Use this checklist to ensure all required documents are included in their packet. The Menu Certification Submittal form is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms. Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or compact disc (CD) for submitting to the California Department of Education (CDE). Save this document using the first four numbers of the CNIPS identification number. For example, if the CNIPS identification number is 01234, save the electronic file as 1234_Submittal.doc.

  1. Menu(s)

SFAs must include one full week of each menu offered by grade group. SFAs serving multiple, distinct menus within a single grade group must submit all menus served. For example, if the SFA serves lunch to middle and high school students, they must submit two separate lunch menus. Additionally, if an SFA participates in the School Breakfast Program, then a breakfast menu must be submitted to the CDE for certification. Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or CD for submitting to the CDE. Save the electronic copy of the menus using the guidance provided in the chart below. The chart provides an example of an SFA with the CNIPS identification number 01234.

Lunch Menus

Grade Group

Name of File

Kindergarten through Five

1234_LMenu_K5

Kindergarten through Eight

1234_LMenu_K8

Six through Eight

1234_LMenu_68

Nine through Twelve

  1234_LMenu_912

Breakfast Menus

Type of Menu Planning

Name of File

Food Based Menu Planning (FBMP)

1234_BMenu_FBMP

Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (NSMP)

1234_BMenu_NSMP

SHAPE Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (SNSMP)

  1234_BMenu_SNSMP

SHAPE Revised Menu Planning (SRMP)

1234_BMenu_SRMP

Add an underscore plus an identifier to the end of the file name for multiple menus within the same grade group. For example, if an SFA is submitting two lunch menus for grades six through eight, then the files may be saved as 1234_LMenu_68_1 and 1234_LMenu_68_2.

  1. USDA Menu Worksheet(s)

The first tab on the USDA Menu Worksheet has detailed instructions for completing the worksheet, followed by tabs 3–10 for entering data. The USDA worksheet provides details of food items and quantities for each submitted menu. The CDE will provide technical assistance (TA) sessions on the menu certification process beginning August 2012. If the SFAs have questions regarding the use of this worksheet, please plan to participate in a TA session in their area.

The link to the USDA Menu Worksheet is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms. Open the worksheet and select the All Meals tab at the bottom of the worksheet. Scroll to the top of the page and type your SFA name in the corresponding box. Also, record the file name for the corresponding menu in the field below your SFA name.

Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or CD for submitting to the CDE. Save the electronic copy of the USDA Menu Worksheets using the guidance provided in the chart below. The chart provides an example of an SFA with the CNIPS identification number 01234.

Lunch Worksheets

Grade Group

Name of File

Kindergarten through Five

1234_LWorksheet_K5

Kindergarten through Eight

1234_LWorksheet_K8

Six through Eight

1234_LWorksheet_68

Nine through Twelve

  1234_LWorksheet_912

Breakfast Worksheets

Type of Menu Planning

Name of File

Food Based Menu Planning (FBMP)

1234_BWorksheet_FBMP

SHAPE Revised Menu Planning (SRMP)

1234_BWorksheet_SRMP

  1. Nutrient Analysis

The USDA requires SFAs to submit a nutrient analysis for one school week for each submitted lunch menu. If an SFA is approved for nutrient standard menu planning for breakfast, the USDA also requires submission of a nutrient analysis for one school week for each submitted breakfast menu.

Please submit a detailed daily analysis for each menu, which includes portion size, planned quantities, calories, and saturated fat. Please note that the nutrient analysis must use a weighted weekly average, which shows the planned quantity for each menu item. Before printing the analysis, please ensure that portion values (not weighted values) are shown.

The USDA has provided instructions for conducting a weighted nutrient analysis and this tool is located on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Resource Library Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/resources/nutrientanalysis.html. SFAs must submit a hard copy of the nutrient analysis to the CDE. SFA must put their CNIPS identification number either written or typed on the top of each nutrient analysis page.
  1. Attestation

The USDA requires that SFAs acknowledge that the submitted documents are representative of current meal service. The attestation form is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms. Submit a hardcopy of this form containing the original signature of the CNIPS Sponsor Official.

  1. Site List

In order to ensure SFAs have submitted all required menus and related worksheets, additional documentation is required. SFAs must submit a list of all sites currently approved in CNIPS and the corresponding menu file name. For your convenience, the CDE created a template which you may use to report this information. The form is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms, under the file name “2012 Menu Certification Site List and Electronic File Name”.

Summary

SFAs that utilize Option One must submit all of the following documents for lunch:

  1. Menu certification submittal form
  2. Menus for each menu type offered
  3. USDA Menu Worksheet(s) for each menu type offered
  4. Nutrient analysis of calories and saturated fat for each menu type
  5. Attestation form
  6. Site list

SFAs that utilize Option One must submit all of the following documents for breakfast:

  1. Food Based Menu Planning
    1. Each distinct breakfast menu
    2. USDA Menu Worksheet for each menu
      (No nutrient analysis is required)
    3. Site list
  1. Nutrient Standard Menu Planning
    1. Each distinct breakfast menu
    2. Nutrient analysis of calories and saturated fat for each menu type offered
      (No USDA Menu Worksheet required)
    3. Site List

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Attachment 2

CERTIFICATION SUBMISSION PROCEDURES
Option Two

This option is for all remaining School Food Authorities (SFA) who do not currently use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient analysis software. There are six required documents for this option. SFAs will find the requested forms in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS) under Applications, Download Forms for items one, three, four, five and six listed below.

  1. Menu Certification Submittal

Use this checklist to ensure all required documents are included in their packet. The Menu Certification Submittal form is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms. Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or compact disc (CD) for submitting to the California Department of Education (CDE). Save this document using the first four numbers of the CNIPS identification number. For example, if the CNIPS identification number is 01234, save the electronic file as 1234_Submittal.doc.

  1. Menu(s)

SFAs must include one full week of each menu offered by grade group. SFAs serving multiple, distinct menus within a single grade group must submit all menus served. For example, if the SFA serves lunch to middle and high school students, they must submit two separate lunch menus. Additionally, if an SFA participates in the School Breakfast Program, then a breakfast menu must be submitted to the CDE for certification. Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or CD for submitting to the CDE. Save the electronic copy of the menus using the guidance provided in the chart below. The chart provides an example of an SFA with the CNIPS identification number 01234.

Lunch Menus

Grade Group

Name of File

Kindergarten through Five

1234_LMenu_K5

Kindergarten through Eight

1234_LMenu_K8

Six through Eight

1234_LMenu_68

Nine through Twelve

  1234_LMenu_912

Breakfast Menus

Type of Menu Planning

Name of File

Food Based Menu Planning (FBMP)

1234_BMenu_FBMP

Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (NSMP)

1234_BMenu_NSMP

SHAPE Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (SNSMP)

   1234_BMenu_SNSMP

SHAPE Revised Menu Planning (SRMP)

1234_BMenu_SRMP

Add an underscore plus an identifier to the end of the file name for multiple menus within the same grade group. For example, if an SFA is submitting two lunch menus for grades six through eight, then the files may be saved as 1234_LMenu_68_1 and 1234_LMenu_68_2.

  1. USDA Menu Worksheet(s)

The first tab on the USDA Menu Worksheet has detailed instructions for completing the worksheet, followed by tabs 3–10 for entering data. The USDA worksheet provides details of food items and quantities for each submitted menu. The CDE will provide technical assistance (TA) sessions on the menu certification process beginning August 2012. If SFAs have questions regarding the use of this worksheet, they can participate in a TA session in their area.

The link to the USDA Menu Worksheet is available in the CNIPS under Application, Download Forms. Open the worksheet and select the All Meals tab at the bottom of the worksheet. Scroll to the top of the page and type your SFA name in the corresponding box. Also, record the file name for the corresponding menu in the field below your SFA name.

Please save this form electronically to a USB flash drive or CD for submitting to the CDE. Save the electronic copy of the worksheets using the guidance provided in the chart below. The chart provides an example of an SFA with the CNIPS identification number 01234.

Breakfast—USDA Menu Worksheets

Type of Menu Planning

Name of File

Food Based Menu Planning (FBMP)

1234_BWorksheet_FBMP

SHAPE Revised Menu Planning (SRMP)

1234_BWorksheet_SRMP

Please note: SFAs currently approved for the Nutrient Standard Menu Planning breakfast must submit a nutrient analysis for one school week for each submitted breakfast menu demonstrating compliance with calories and saturated fat.

  1. Simplified Nutrient Assessment

SFAs can locate the Simplified Nutrient Assessment (SNA) on the USDA Menu Worksheet on tabs 11–12. SFAs are required to submit an SNA for each lunch menu submitted. SFAs must enter data for saturated fat and calories in the worksheet. An SNA is not required for breakfast. Please save a copy of the USDA Menu Worksheet electronically to a USB flash drive or CD for submitting to the CDE. Save the electronic copy of the worksheets using the guidance provided in the chart below. The chart provides an example of an SFA with the CNIPS identification number 01234.

Lunch—USDA Menu Worksheets

Grade Group

Name of File

Kindergarten through Five

1234_LAssess_K5

Kindergarten through Eight

1234_LAssess_K8

Six through Eight

1234_LAssess_68

Nine through twelve

  1234_LAssess_912

  1. Attestation

The USDA requires that SFAs acknowledge that documents submitted for certification are representative of all meals served. The attestation form is available in the CNIPS under Application, Download Forms. Submit a hardcopy of this form containing the original signature of the CNIPS Sponsor Official.

  1. Site List
In order to ensure SFAs have submitted all required menus and related worksheets, additional documentation is required. SFAs must submit a list of all sites currently approved in CNIPS and the corresponding menu file name. For your convenience, the CDE created a template, which you may use to report this information. The form is available in the CNIPS under Applications, Download Forms, under the file name “2012 Menu Certification Site List and Electronic File Name”.

Summary

SFAs that utilize Option Two must submit all of the following documents for lunch:

  1. Menu certification submittal form
  2. Menus for each menu type offered
  3. USDA Menu Worksheet(s) for each menu type offered
  4. Simplified Nutrient Assessment of calories and saturated fat for each menu type
  5. Attestation form
  6. Site List

SFAs that utilize Option Two must submit all of the following documents for breakfast:

  1. Food Based Menu Planning
    1. Each distinct breakfast menu
    2. USDA Menu Worksheet for each menu
      (No nutrient analysis is required)
    3. Site list
  1. Nutrient Standard Menu Planning
    1. Each distinct breakfast menu
    2. Nutrient analysis of calories and saturated fat for each menu type offered
      (No USDA Menu Worksheet required)
    3. Site List

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